The EU on Wednesday took a step toward relaxing tourism travel for visitors, with EU ambassadors agreeing on measures to allow fully vaccinated visitors, including those from the UK, in.
The new EU rules are expected to be confirmed on Friday and expected to allow non-essential visits into the EU by people who have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine.
It is not yet clear what rules will apply to children who have not been vaccinated accompanying parents.
One solution mooted is for under-11s to travel without restrictions in family groups, while older children and unvaccinated adults will have to take PCR tests to prove they are not infected.
Each EU country will be free to decide its own policy, meaning some will waive restrictions in return for proof of vaccination and some may require additional paper work or tests. Portugal and Greece have already jumped the gun by saying they will welcome UK tourists.
UK holidaymakers are currently prohibited from visiting Spain due to its ban on inbound leisure visits from outside the EU.
Clive Wratten, chief executive of the Business Travel Association (BTA) called on the UK Government to update and clarify its own rules in response: “The BTA welcomes the clear stance of the EU that will stimulate all forms of travel. We urge the UK Government to introduce reciprocal arrangements for travellers returning from these countries.
“It’s imperative that the Government updates current travel guidance to remove the uncertainty around the amber list countries without delay. The lack of clarity is damaging business.”
EasyJet also welcomed the EU move.
“We know that consumers want to be able to travel this summer and so we welcome that the European Union could enable those who are vaccinated to travel without the need for testing or quarantine,” said a spokesman. Boris Johnson has stressed that countries on the amber list are “not somewhere where you should be going on holiday”.